PFLP rejects and calls for action against liquidationist return to direct negotiations

August 26, 2010

The following is a statement from the PFLP on the announcement of new US sponsored negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  It originally appeared at

Comrade Maher al-Taher, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and leader of its branch outside Palestine, said on August 20, 2010 that the goal of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is to liquidate the Palestinian cause, not to reach a political solution, noting that it is clear from the events and actions of Israel that it is impossible to reach a political solution with an entity that demands total control of all aspects of Palestinian existence. Read the rest of this entry »

The ‘War on Resistance’

August 11, 2010

Mike Walker, PFLP Solidarity Campaign coordinator
The Spark August 2010

On the 20th of September 2001, during a joint session of congress, George Bush uttered the now famous phrase “every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” The resulting ‘War on Terror’ is not only being fought on the battle field but also in the minds of people worldwide through a complex web of legislation and International Law. New Zealand is an active participant in the global war against terror being led by the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. But this should be understood within the context of New Zealand’s long history of repressing its own population. Read the rest of this entry »

Vatukoula’s 19-year miners strike

August 11, 2010

Byron Clark
The Spark
August 2010

The Fiji Mineworkers Union is currently seeking a resolution to one of the worlds longest running industrial disputes, over 340 workers have been on strike in the town of Vatukoula since 1991. In the 19 years since the strike began, the mine was closed (in 2006), sold, and re-opened under the ownership of another company, at which point none of the striking miners were re-hired. In recent times, gold production and sales have surged in Vatukoula while the former Emperor Gold employees continue to seek redress for their grievances. The miners continue to live in company housing and picket the mine regularly. The Spark examines the role the town of Vatukoula has played in Fiji’s labour history, and the exploitation of workers and the environment by multinational mining companies.
A Company Town

Vatukoula Mine

Gold was first discovered in the Vatukoula, in the north of Viti’ Levu by an Australian prospector in 1932, and the establishment of a mine by an Australian mining company, Emperor Gold Mining, followed soon after. Still a British colony, Emperor Gold practised what the Fiji Times has labelled “colonial-style mine management”. In a thesis submitted to the University of Vermont, Mary Ackley outlines what this means: Read the rest of this entry »

Industrial disputes

August 11, 2010

The Spark August 2010


Housekeepers at the Rendezvous Hotel in central Auckland had been faced with the same trick by management every time collective bargaining came around: the company invariably delayed the settlement, cheating the workers out of months worth of back pay.

This year the company’s offer was 1.5% to cover them until June 2012 (the workers had got nothing last year), and the bosses also wanted to take one day’s sick leave entitlement off them. The workers, members of the SFWU, responded with a one day strike on the day that a big conference was being held at the hotel. The company retaliated with a lockout of the workers that lasted 13 days.

The union challenged the legality of the lockout in court, but lost that battle. The dispute was finally settled at mediation with an increase of 25c per hour (the equivalent of just under 2% for most of the workers), the term of the agreement was reduced to one year and the workers retained their sick day. The expiry of the current Collective Agreement is well timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup. Read the rest of this entry »

Undercover Boss USA – A fairy tale of class collaboration

August 10, 2010

TV review: ‘Undercover Boss USA’
Tuesday, 8.30pm, TV One

The Spark August 2010

‘Undercover Boss USA’ is a peculiar show; a show hard to imagine being produced any time before the 2008 economic recession. The show is an attempt by ‘reality’ television to tap into the growing class anger caused by the recession. Nowhere is this better illustrated than by the extremely over-the-top and unsubtle opening narration:

The economy is going through TOUGH TIMES! Many hard-working Americans blame wealthy CEOs, out of touch with what’s going on in THEIR OWN COMPANIES! But SOME BOSSES are willing to take EXTREME ACTION to make their businesses BETTER! Read the rest of this entry »

STUDY: 1991 - the General Strike that Wasn’t

August 5, 2010

Hosted by the Workers Party

Tuesday 10 August 2010 6pm-8pm Trades Hall 147 Great Nth Rd, Auckland

Reading: Peter Harris ctuand critical notes by Don Franks (WP) SOME RELECTIONS ON THE ECA INTRODUCTION

Tony Boraman: “The Myth of Passivity”

Open letter to Keith Locke MP

August 5, 2010

Hi Keith

I read this in the Herald, attributed to you:

“We are proud of the good peacekeeping and reconstruction work that our Provincial Reconstruction Team has done in Bamian Province, and we mourn the loss of one of its members.”

If those words are not misquoted, then I’m really angry at your misrepresentation.

What’s going on here?

You’ve read all the books and been constantly active in the anti imperialist movement for literally half a century. You must be much more acutely aware than most people that the so called Provincial Reconstruction Team that the New Zealand state sent to Afghanistan is not about peacekeeping, or reconstruction , or is, in any way, “ours”.

You must similarly know that unless someone belongs to or chooses to identify with the New Zealand ruling classes, or is a bought hack journalist, or has not had access to the most rudimentary understanding of class politics, that: “our Provincial Reconstruction Team” is not based in Afghanistan for peacekeeping, good or otherwise.

Death in war is an understandable trigger for human emotions. So lets get the whole picture here. How many Afghanistan people have been killed by New Zealand invaders of their country?  When do we mourn and how do we begin to try and make amends?

People die every day in the course of their calling. The NZ army officer killed by Afghanistan people trying to evict invaders from their land is the first invading New Zealand trooper to die there since 2003. How many industrial deaths have there been in New Zealand since that time? How many flags were lowered, how many media voices theatrically quavered and how many Prime ministers broke routine for those working class victims of the class war?

Let the ruling classes do their barbarous inhuman dirty work alone and unaided.

Our little time on this earth has more urgent and honorable calls on it; to revive the antimperialist antiwar movement in this country.

Don Franks

David Rovics Palestine benefit gig

August 3, 2010

The Workers Party on Campus in conjunction with the the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Solidarity Campaign presents a Palestine benefit gig, featuring David Rovics and Don Franks.

Its all happening on Friday the 20th of August, Bentley’s Bar, Canterbury University. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with door sales available on the night or pre sales available via Paypal at

You can check out info about other shows David is doing in New Zealand at

David Rovics grew up in a family of classical musicians in Wilton, Connecticut, and became a fan of populist regimes early on. By the early 90s he was a full-time busker in the Boston subways and by the mid-90s he was traveling the world as a professional flat-picking rabble-rouser. These days David lives with his family in Portland, Oregon and tours regularly on four continents, playing for audiences large and small at cafes, pubs, universities, churches, union halls and protest rallies.

He has shared the stage with a veritable of who’s who of the left in two dozen countries, and has had his music featured on Democracy Now!, BBC, Al- Jazeera and other networks. His essays are published regularly on CounterPunch, and the 200+ songs he makes available for free on the web have been downloaded more than a million times.

Most importantly, he’s really good. He will make you laugh, he will make you cry, he will make the revolution irresistible. David provides his songs free of charge from

In Christchurch he will be joined by folk stalwart Don Franks. Addressing issues relevant to people in New Zealand today, Franks builds on the tradition of political folk, adding an air of spontaneity and healthy dose of tounge-in-cheek humor. Listeners will be treated to a selection from Franks’ sizeable repetoire, including hits from his 2009 album ‘Safer Communities Together Blues’. The gig is being held in conjunction with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine SOlidarity Campaign.

David Rovics had the following to say about the PFLP: “The criminalization of the PFLP and other organizations by various governments is sheer hypocrisy. These same governments are signatories to UN conventions that make it clear — the PFLP and the Palestinian people generally are not criminals. They are resisting a criminal occupation — it is the militaristic, apartheid state of Israel which is the criminal here, which needs to be treated as such, not the PFLP.” - David Rovics, singer-songwriter So come along and show your support for the Palestinian struggle against the Zionist state of Israel, and be treated to a night of entertainment by two of the best ‘rabble rousers’ around


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